by Scotty L of Predictem.com
When: Saturday, June 19, 2010
Where: Niagara Falls Conference Centre in Niagara Falls, New York
Weight Class: Heavyweights: 10 Rounds
Hasim Rahman, 46-7-2 (37 KOs), Baltimore, Maryland, Vs. Shannon Miller, 16-4 (9 KOs), Troy, New York
Fight Odds: Hasim Rahman (-2000), Shannon Miller (+850)
Analysis: Former Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman continues his comeback on Saturday against Shannon Miller. With the lack of talent in the heavyweight division, particularly in the States, fighters like Hasim Rahman can still flourish. Sure he isnt what he used to be, but either is the division. Miller, on the other hand, needs a big win to give a boost to his career.
Rahman looked dreadful in his last big fight against Wladimir Klitschko in December of 2008. Granted, he was facing the best in the world, but that does not give him a pass for appearing to not even make a go of it. Round after round, he dutifully stayed at the end of the champions reach soaking up shots. Finally in the 7th, it came to an end with Rahman on his back. One has come to expect more out of former heavyweight champions, even when faced against seemingly insurmountable odds. If he was going to get knocked out anyway, why not at least try to take the title?
So now he fights on. One cant say its pointless to do so. If he could string together a few more wins, he could secure another decent payday. There are more than a few prospects around looking to add the name of a linear heavyweight champion to their ledgers. It seems hard to believe that his best moment as a prohis cataclysmic upset of champion Lennox Lewiswas over 9 years ago. That fight earned him millions in the rematch.
Since Lennox Lewis almost ripped his head off in the rematch, Rahman has been up and down. He lost to an aging Evander Holyfield, when a gargoyle on the side of his head brought that bout to a conclusion. He lost to unexceptional John Ruiz and was knocked out by Oleg Maskaev. He had a draw and no-contest against James Toney, though maybe he should have lost both bouts. His last near-decade hasnt been without success, however. He deserved to get the decision against David Tua in a bout that was declared a draw and has decent wins over Kali Meehan and Monte Barrett.
Nevertheless, Rahman is operating in deteriorated form. He seems slower, less motivated, and easier to hit. His weight has also proved problematic, as one would hope to see him come in a little lighter than 264the weight for his first comeback fight in March.
So that brings us to Miller. Its astonishing that hes been around even longer than Rahman! The Troy, New York native turned pro way back in 1992, even though hes one year younger than Rahman at 36. 16 wins in 18 years doesnt scream success. Obviously, hes never been able to get his career going. He has some skills, but has never been able to make the next step. He seems to be a notch below even the high quality journeymen who could trouble an old and rusty Rahman. Miller lost to crude Vinny Maddalone by knockout in 2005, before taking 2 losses in 2006 to Malachy Farrell and Derric Rossy, two more unremarkable talents. Then he was dumped in one round by comebacking Joe Mesi.
One could almost make the case for an upset pick against Rahman at this point, but Miller doesnt inspire confidence. Since the Mesi defeat over 30 months ago, hes had 2 fights against unknown opposition. He managed to go the first 14 years of his career undefeated and has a reputation as a talented guy. But he was resoundingly defeated by opponents who would be underdogs to even a depreciated Rahman.
Scotty’s Pick to Win: I suppose its possible that Miller caught a break and is getting Rahman at just the right time. Its just that Miller might be in no position to capitalize even if a washed up Rahman shows up. The last thing to go is a fighters power. Thats something Rahman always had. He might no longer be capable of getting his power shots across against the elite, but he should be more than confident enough to fire away at the likes of Miller.
Old powerful heavyweights like Rahman do the same thing in these positions. They get in there and try to whack out their opponent quick. He doesnt have the conditioning to last rounds and will probably be hesitant to allow a semi-slick and experienced fighter like Miller to catch him with his gas needle on E. Rahman will go out there and look to close escrow quick. The over/under odds havent been posted yet, but I suspect Rahman can finish this inside of two rounds, which will be much less than what the posted under will be. Take the under.